Orlando puts brakes on Uber/Lyft regulations

By Jerry Hume, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017, 3:25 PM EDT

The city of Orlando has repealed rules regulating ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The move — adopted without commissioner or public comment during a City Council meeting Monday — comes in response to a new Florida law that takes effect next month.

During this year's legislative session, state lawmakers decided that there should be one set of rules for ride-sharing companies across the state, so they passed a measure that nullifies Orlando’s rules. Gov. Rick Scott signed CS/HB 221, known as the "Uber/Lyft Bill," on Tuesday, May 9.

The bill means a rule requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to pay a $250 registration fee will be wiped off the books.

For more than two years, the city of Orlando has been trying to regulate Uber and Lyft, balancing the needs of the app-based companies while keeping taxi companies afloat.

“The fewer the regulations, the better," Lyft driver Vince Lambiase said. "That’s simply because the more regulations they impose on us, the more difficult it is to do our job.”

The law, which takes effect July 1, still requires Uber and Lyft to have insurance coverage and perform background checks on drivers.

The new law also requires airports to work with ride-sharing companies, so there could be more Uber and Lyft drivers at Orlando International Airport soon.

The airport will consider changes to its ride-sharing policies at its Wednesday meeting.